Whenever I play one of the Diablo games, I feel a lot of different things. Excitement. Tension. Accomplishment. And sometimes, hunger.
In the following email interview, Rick Barba, the writer of the “Tales” parts of the book, explains how he came to co-write this book with Andy Lunique [The Ultimate Gamer’s Cookbook], as well as which of Andy’s recipes made him the hungriest.
To start, what is Diablo: The Official Cookbook about? Because the tagline says, “Recipes And Tales From The Inns Of Sanctuary,” which leads me to think it’s comfort food as opposed to fancy meals or demonic desserts.
The book features a wide range of recipes. Each region’s inn offers everything from appetizers to entrees (some quite sophisticated) to desserts.
The book is also about expanding Diablo lore a bit (hence the mention of “Tales”), which I did with a lot of help from Blizzard.
What was it about the idea behind Diablo: The Official Cookbook that not only made you want to write the lore parts, but also made you think you were the right person to do so?
I’ve written lore-books for such franchises as Star Trek, God Of War, Assassin’s Creed, Borderlands, StarCraft, Watch Dogs, The Division, XCOM, and the Horizon games. So, I bring a lot of experience to this kind of work.
I also spent many weeks on-site at Blizzard in Irvine, California, writing strategy guides for StarCraft II and Diablo III. I have tremendous respect for those developers as well as the Blizzard communications team. So great to work with.
Essen’s Spit-Roasted Pork
As you said, you’ve written a ton of books about video games. But this, I believe, is your first cookbook…
Actually, it’s my third cookbook. I wrote the lore components for God Of War: The Official Cookbook Of The Nine Realms as well as The Official Horizon Cookbook: Tastes Of The Seven Tribes, which will be out April 2nd.
I stand corrected. Anyway, What was the most surprising thing you learned working on Diablo: The Official Cookbook?
Writing for Diablo did bring surprises. In particular, I was struck by Blizzard’s meticulous care in making the cookbook’s lore not only accurate but a worthy enhancement of Diablo‘s world. Very impressive attention to depth and detail.
In a similar vein, what was the biggest thing you learned from co-writing the book with Andy?
I learned that it’s very hard to write lore based on Andy’s recipes without salivating on my keyboard.
Gray Wards Onion Pie
And of all those recipes, which ones made you salivate the most?
Wow, that’s tough. I love all of them.
I have to say it’s a tossup between the Westmarch Navy Garlic Prawns and the Twin Seas Seafood Stew. I love seafood.
So, is there anything else you think people should know about Diablo: The Official Cookbook?
I wrote the lore, but Blizzard had a lot of input in revisions. Their writers are fantastic.
Finally, if it was up to you, what game-related cookbook would you most want to write the lore parts for?
Well, speaking of Blizzard, I think a StarCraft cookbook would be a blast. Especially Zerg recipes.
A close second would be the Grand Theft Auto universe. I co-wrote the guides for all Rockstar games from GTA San Andreas through GTA V, spent months on-site in the Rockstar NYC offices over the years. I dig its cultural satire and irreverence, and I think a cookbook in that spirit would be fun.